Chasing the Powhatan Arrow
Chasing the Powhatan Arrow is a travelogue in economic geography from Norfolk, Virginia to Cincinnati, Ohio, following the corridor of that iconic passenger train that daily plied the route of Norfolk & Western’s main line from the end of WWII until the mid-1960s. Before being dieselized in the late 1950s, the train was pulled by the magnificent J-class steam locomotives that N&W manufactured in their own shops in Roanoke, Virginia expressly for that purpose.
Literally thousands of books have been writing about trains: their schedules, engineering designs, specifications, operation, and staffing. Chasing the Powhatan Arrow, isn’t one of them. Instead, Chasing the Powhatan Arrow is a personal journey in economic geography, exploring the people, places, history, culture and future along the train’s route including stops in Norfolk, Suffolk, Petersburg, Blackstone, Crewe, Farmville, Lynchburg, Roanoke, Christiansburg, and Pearisburg in Virginia, Bluefield, Welch, Williamson, and Kenova in West Virginia, and Ironton, Portsmouth, and Cincinnati in Ohio. The corridor is one of the most geographically, culturally, historically, geologically, and economically varied and interesting in the eastern United States. Softcover, 500 pages.